Friday, February 03, 2012

I haven't been to Blogger in so long the format has completely changed.  *sigh*   Sometimes, you just get sidetracked.  But I decided the time had come to stop using the internet for mental masturbation, and to get to it, write write write.  Or something.

Post-New-Year-Winter always wears me to the edge of my nerves.  My bones feel raw and exposed.  My heart thumps irregularly. I feel expectant.  I feel restless.  I feel bored.  I feel... as if  spring will never ever come.  And this year's Farmer's Almanac is not helping.  Forecasting a cooler but drier spring here, and a colder and wetter spring and summer "back homes" (Up and Down State NY) have me wondering what it is I am expecting.  Rain?  Cold?

With Colin moving to a full time position at work, and one that has little to do in the summer, we are at least expecting he'll be able to be around a bit more come May.  And that will leave us time to work on the gardens, yard, and outbuildings.  This late winter restlessness always brings some summer planning.  Seed planting.  Thinking about baby chicks, piglets, lambs, and calves.  Who will join Solidarity Farm this summer?  Only time will tell.

And that is the hard part.

Despite all the planning... you can't actually DO anything.  My kids are little enough that even a real walk is unlikely.  By the time you have everyone loaded into snow clothes, someone is usually crying.  I feel this year that it is hard to remember what I must have done to lure the big kids outside when they were toddlers and preschoolers.  To avoid going completely insane, I have done something I never thought I would do... I bought exercise equipment.  I hop on, looking like a crazed middle aged housewife, albeit playing punk or funk or ska, and "walk" until I can barely breathe.  I am hoping for some serious toning by spring.  Er, at least, by wedding day.

As the bones of the trees sit, expectantly, seemingly covered in nerves themselves, waiting for buds and blooms and sugar, I also realize some of this year's angst comes from the loss of two young friends, one barely in her 30s, and one 29 and a father of a 7 year old, who couldn't see through the post-Solstice fog to make it another day.  One death is shocking.  Two is horrifying.  To have been dorm mother to both of them feels like failing... and makes it terrifying to parent the glowing, but growing into adulthood, children in my home who have yet to face the depth of winter as a sad post adolescent.  I worry.  I fret.  I feel those nerves.  I see them reflected in the upside-down lung patterns of the trees.

The sun is brilliant today, despite the cold.  Sunny summer bright.  The kind that promises the warmth of wet soil and lake swimming. There is the promise of tomatoes and lettuce, spicy nasturtiums and mustard greens, kale and spinach, green beans and peas.  Purple carrots.  Summer squash.  Growth in my mouth.  Earth in my belly.  Dirt on my toes.

That is a promise I am holding this sun to, cooler than normal temps or not.  We're going to shake off the raw nerves and eat right from the vine.  Me and Sun and are going to dance across the water, the sand, up the hill and into the cool woods, sugar snow on my tongue and fire in my veins.  I won't need to listen to the weird, pneumatic pumping of my walking machine... I will run in the sweet grass and eat violets scattered across my lawn.  And I will shock these nerves into soothing cold spring waterfalls... and then bathe it every day in the lake.  We'll numb our minds and hearts to the difficulty of January.  We'll feel our feet firmly planted in the earth...

Oh... and today has seemed full of babies about to be born, babies just born, babies here to remind us that the world goes on, and love really truly just grows.  And in my house, puppets and records and little children spin, and I wait... for my big kids to fill my arms one more time before they are off on their adventures for the weekend, and I will lift my pen again.  To put shape and meaning and forward thought to this crazy winter business.

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